It’s book launch and give-away time!
A bit about the author: Hélène grew up on an island on the East Coast of Canada and now writes fiction and non-fiction for kids from her land-locked home in Ontario.
Her debut middle grade novel, Acadian Star, was nominated for the 2009-2010 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award. Keep Out! is her second work of fiction, with her third, Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings being released this December. She has also written 5 non-fiction books for children.
A bit about the book: In Keep Out! Lucas and Andre try to solve the mystery of who, or what, has destroyed the endangered piping plover’s nest of Prince Edward Island National Park. And Lucas hatches a plan to get Andre to keep his dirty socks on his side of the room!
*Read to the end to find out how YOU CAN WIN A COPY!
Hiya, Hélène! Now is the time to get the story behind the story. What was your inspiration for writing Keep Out! ?
Keep Out! started as a back and forth e-mail exchange between me and my own twin nephews, Lucas and Andre. They were 8-9 at the time and loved books like Geronimo Stilton so I decided to write a book for them–and make them the stars of the story. The book is set in their home province of Prince Edward Island where I had worked for a summer as a Park Interpreter with the National Park Service. I borrowed some of the themes of wildlife preservation from my work there.
Talk about your process of writing Keep Out!.
Once I had about half of the book written, I sent it to my nephews to read via e-mail, since they lived 3 provinces away. It was really inspiring to hear their reactions and it gave me the motivation to finish the book and complete the second volume as well. When it came time to revise the books to be published, Lucas and Andre were already 12 (that’s how long it takes to get books published! LOL) but my own daughters were 6-8 at that point. They really helped by reading over my manuscripts, pointing out the ‘hard words’ and letting me know when one of my jokes fell flat. It is really useful to live with your target audience!
There’s a second book? Are there plans to publish the second volume?
Yes! I’m happy to say that Nimbus Publishing signed on for both books at the same time. The series is called RED DUNE ADVENTURES, owing to the red sand dunes Prince Edward Island is so famous for and the second book (out next spring) is called Water Hazard. It is another eco-adventure mystery.
Thanks, Hélène! Best of luck with the US release of Keep Out!. Here is the book trailer and links to the first chapter and the teacher’s guide:
Read the first chapter: HERE
Download the Teacher’s Guide: HERE
Readers, if you’d like a chance to win a copy of Hélène’s new book, leave a comment below, and our random generator will choose a lucky winner on Thursday. You’ll get extra entries for sharing a link on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter (please mention each link in a new comment).
And don’t forget to check out Hélène’s other books, Acadian Star and upcoming Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings, available in bookstores and online. To read reviews or excerpts from her books, visit Hélène’s website!